TITLE: Support for Tribal Direct Access State Targeted Response to Opioid Crisis Grants (STR) and Other Federal Funding
WHEREAS, we, the members of the National Congress of American Indians of the United States, invoking the divine blessing of the Creator upon our efforts and purposes, in order to preserve for ourselves and our descendants the inherent sovereign rights of our Indian nations, rights secured under Indian treaties and agreements with the United States, and all other rights and benefits to which we are entitled under the laws and Constitution of the United States, to enlighten the public toward a better understanding of the Indian people, to preserve Indian cultural values, and otherwise promote the health, safety and welfare of the Indian people, do hereby establish and submit the following resolution; and
WHEREAS, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) was established in 1944 and is the oldest and largest national organization of American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments; and
WHEREAS, from 2006 to 2012, of the drug overdose deaths, 65.3% (294) of AI/AN deaths were from prescription drugs and of the prescription drug overdose deaths, 77.2% (227) of AI/AN deaths were from opioid overdoses; and
WHEREAS, tribes are in need of additional resources directly from the federal government to combat the multitude of problems related to the opioid crisis and to address this crisis through a comprehensive approach; and
WHEREAS, funding must be available to Tribal Epidemiology Centers for data and surveillance of the opioid crisis; and
WHEREAS, the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides funding only to states through State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grants (“STR”); and
WHEREAS, the government-to-government relationship between the federal government and tribes, as well as the federal trust responsibility and treaty obligations, support direct funding from SAMHSA to tribes and tribal organizations; and
WHEREAS, tribes and tribal organizations should not be required to go through the state to access federal funding; and
WHEREAS, tribes request access to STR funding, and other federal funding, directly from the federal government; and
WHEREAS, tribes request that all opioid funding available to tribes should ensure equitable distribution of funds to all tribes and reduce the administrative burden on tribes accessing these funds, particularly smaller tribes with less capacity to apply for and compete with larger tribes.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) calls on Congress to support direct funding to tribes and tribal organizations to address the opioid crisis and direct funding to support surveillance and research by tribes, tribal organizations or Tribal Epidemiology Centers under SAMHSA State Targeted Response to Opioid Crisis Grants (STR) and other federal funding sources or opportunities; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NCAI calls on Congress, and the Administration, to ensure that all tribes and tribal organizations have access to STR funding, and other federal funding sources or opportunities, to address the opioid crisis with consideration of a reduced administrative burden to ensure that there are no barriers for tribes and tribal organizations to access these funds and other resources; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that this resolution shall be the policy of NCAI until it is withdrawn or modified by subsequent resolution.
The foregoing resolution was adopted by the General Assembly at the 2018 Midyear Session of the National Congress of American Indians, held at the Marriott Kansas City Downtown, June 3-6, 2018, with a quorum present.
Jefferson Keel, President
Juana Majel Dixon, Recording Secretary